Skip to main content

Full text of "Northwest House : a three-level house that makes no compromise with quality."

See other formats

m , 




\-\. ' •■■ 






\Jfe-" -=3*^ 

■i-'di fete 




- - « 



Three floors are served 
by one flight of stairs 

Rich hues of cedar and brick, 
a southern wall of glass set in 
aluminum frames— these estab- 
lish the tone of a modern 
house that is warm and livable. 

THE irregular coastline of the state of Washington 
rises abruptly from the sea. The tides swell gently 
into its endless harbors, and its jutting promontories pro- 
vide exciting vistas. Its foliage is rich with native fir, spruce, 
hemlock, cedar and dogwood. It is a part of the United 
States that has a personality, a dramatic quality that is all 
its own. And now a house has been built, just outside of 
Seattle, that expresses perfectly the feeling that can only 
be found in the geography and the way of life that is the 
Pacific Northwest. 

This is true because (1) it is a contemporary house de- 
signed for today's needs; (2) it blends into and takes full 
advantage of its natural surroundings; and (3) it makes 
full use of the materials that are native to the Northwest. 

An outstanding feature of the design of this house is 
that it is built on three levels, which gives it a separate- 
ness and variety of living areas that cannot be obtained in 
the usual one-story modern house. Yet the arrangement of 
these levels -and the way the rooms are grouped on them 
— is such that the old problem of the housewife having to 


New in practice, it not in architectural thinking, 
the three-level house offers many advantages. 
Most obvious is the exciting variety of rooms 
and views. In addition, there are the separate- 
ness of living areas and the handiness of being 
able to go from one part of the house directly to 
all others. This is made possible by the central 
location of the single flight of stairs. 

The bedroom area overhangs the carport. 
This is the northwest corner of the house. 

- --- 







; Car Port 

; ltf-6"X2<i'-2" 

Laundry i Meat 

fc'-H" X l7'-3" 

Li J. 




The floors are arranged 
so that one flight of stairs 
can serve three levels. 

run up and down stairs all day is cut to a hardly noticeable 
minimum. And the central location of this single, split flight 
of stairs makes it possible to go from one level to any 
other without having to pass through any additional living 
areas of the house. 

The placement of the windows in this house is also un- 
usual. For privacy, few openings exist in the western or 
street side of the house, but large windows are placed on 
the side away from the street to take full advantage of the 
view. And the south side of the house is a wall of solid 
glass, shielded from east and west by projecting walls. The 
overhanging roof on this end of the building baffles the 
hot summer sun (high in the sky) and takes full advantage 
of its warming rays in the winter (when the sun hangs low 
in the sky). 

Also of interest on the outside of the house is the car- 
port, which is a garage area with a roof but open on the 
sides. Warm Pacific currents make the climate such that an 
enclosed garage is unnecessary in this area. The siding of 
the house is of clear, vertical grain Western red cedar, fin- 
ished naturally. 

This fits in naturally with the atmosphere of the build- 
ing's site, for in addition to the many surrounding trees, the 
ground is covered with a thick growth of Oregon grape and 
fern. To preserve this wealth of natural cover, all grading 
work was done by hand, and was confined to the area of the 
house and terrace. The house stands in approximately the 

U-shaped and modern, the kitchen is con- 
veniently connected with the dining area 
by a pantry-like partition equipped with 
sliding panels. The counter surface can be 
used as a snack bar and for quick lunches. 

The dining area also shares the southern 
wall of glass. Note the table and chairs on 
the porch. This porch, as the whole south- 
ern wall of the house, is protected by the 
overhang of the roof and the projecting 
side walls. 

Carrying the kitchen wall only part way 
up adds greatly to the spaciousness of the 
house by leaving an unbroken ceiling 
line. Cover the left part of the picture 
with your hand to see the effect if this 
partition were full height. An exhaust fan 
removes cooking odors. 

center of a corner lot that has a frontage of 112' and is 
74' deep. 

Moving inside the house, we find the same naturally fin- 
ished cedar paneling in the living and dining area. 

And to complement the rich reddish brown of the cedar, 
the cabinetwork and wall around the kitchen are of 
bleached Douglas fir plywood with the grain running ver- 
tically. This is finished in clear varnish. 

A glance at the plan shows that the rooms have been 
placed so as to save as many steps and as much stair climb- 
ing as possible— while maintaining the interest and variety 
provided by three living levels. The kitchen is conveniently 
related to the dining area and the separating wall of the 
kitchen features a sliding panel for serving, as well as built-in 
drawers for storing silver, linen and the like. 

As the bathroom is on the upper level, it is correspond- 
ingly private from the living room. It also adjoins the 
bedrooms and the multi-use room. This room is a note- 
worthy feature because one of the uses for which it is pri- 
marily intended is as a playroom for children. For this 
use, another unusual feature has been introduced: a sliding 
panel has been placed at floor level in the wall that sepa- 
rates this room from the kitchen. Because of the three-level 
plan, this opening comes conveniently at eye-level in the 
kitchen. Thus, the mother, working in the kitchen, can easily 
keep tabs on her children in the playroom, even when they 
are still at the crawling stage. 

The stairs descend to a room on the lower level that can 
be used for recreation or as a shop, and which contains a 
large storage space. Also on the lower level is the utility 
room containing laundry and heating plant. Thus, these ac- 
tivities are separated from the living area. 

It will be noted that there are only six steps up to the 
bedroom area and eight steps down to the lower level. This 
is half the usual number in a conventional two-story house 
with basement. 

Depending on the needs of the family, the two smaller bsdrooms can 
be separated or thrown together by means of a folding partition. 

The multi-purpose room can be used as a study, an office at home, 
a place for the manager of the house to keep her records . . . 

... or as a children's playroom. This is the purpose of the opening, at floor 
level, into the kitchen. Through this, close tabs can be kept even on toddlers. 


In the usual order, Builder Balch 
and Architects Chiarelli and Kirk, 

Behind the houses erected by the Revere 
Quality House Institute are teams, usually 
consisting of one architect and one builder, 
that work in close collaboration on all phases 
of the job. In this case the architectural 
member of the team was the partnership of 
Chiarelli & Kirk; the builder was Albert 
Balch, All three members of the team work 
out of Seattle, and have for some time been 
active in building circles in that area. 

JAMES J- CHIARELLI, architect, was born in Spo- 
kane, Washington, and received his degree 
of Bachelor of Architecture from the Uni- 
versity of Washington in 1934. He is a mem- 
ber of the American Institute of Architects 

and Tau Sigma Delta, an architectural hon- 
orary fraternity. 

Previous to his present partnership, he 
worked for various architectural offices in 
Seattle and was field architect for a 1000- 
unit housing project at Vancouver, Washing- 
ton. He also served as design critic at the 
Department of Architecture, University of 

PAUL HAYDEN KIRK, architect, was born in Salt 
Lake City, Utah, and received his degree of 
Bachelor of Architecture from the University 
of Washington in 1937. He is also a member 
of the A.I.A. and Tau Sigma Delta, as well 
as having won the Alpha Rho Chi medal. 
From 1939 until going into partnership, 

he had his own practice and has been associ- 
ated with other firms in Federal housing 
work, which included community and school 

ALBERT BALCH, the builder member of the team, 
is a descendant of one of the founders of 
Salem, Mass. He was born in Gem, Idaho, 
and received his education at the University 
of Washington and Northwestern University. 
The founder and owner of the Wedgwood 
Corporation, he has for many years been a 
leader in building community developments 
in and around Seattle. Wedgwood Park, the 
location of this "Northwestern House," is one 
of six residential communities that Mr. Balch 
has developed. 


Quality methods and materials assure sound value 

THIS Northwest House was designed to fill the needs 
of a modern family-to make their lives in it as easy, 
as comfortable, as pleasant and as safe as possible. Or, as 
the architects have expressed it, "to aid in the economic, 
social, physical and spiritual development of the family." 

It should serve its purpose admirably. 

However, this house goes beyond that goal. It is an ex- 
cellent example of quality construction. In other words, it 
is also a comparatively "trouble-free" machine, subject to 
low maintenance— and a sound investment that will hold 
its value through the years. As such, it is a house that pros- 
pective home owners might well keep in mind. The mate- 
rials and methods used are a virtual check-list of quality: 

The EXTERIOR SIDING of the house is of clear, vertical-grain 
Western red cedar, fitted together by the tongue and groove 
method. Because this wood is native to the Northwest, it is 
reasonably priced in this area and will last indefinitely in 
its natural state. That eliminates the upkeep cost of periodic 
paintings. All exterior plywood— used in the trim and around 
the eaves-is of three-ply Douglas fir, bonded with water- 
proof resin adhesive. 

Such use of locally available materials is typical of the 
intelligent choice of materials that results in sound housing 
values and gives the buyer of the house the most for his 

INSULATION OF THE FOUNDATION becomes important when a 
concrete slab containing a radiant heating system is used. 
Not only must moisture be kept out, but heat must be kept 

This is how the coils of copper tube 

looked in the bathroom before steel 

netting and plaster were applied 

directly over them. 

Applying sheathing diagonally — 

rather than horizontally— adds 

greatly to the structural strength 

of the house. 

in. This has been accomplished by putting under the slab 
a six-inch gravel fill, topped by a layer of tar paper. Asphalt- 
impregnated insulation is used around the edges. 

The INTERIOR WALLS are of plaster on gypsum lath with metal 
grounds— with the exception of the dining, living and multi- 
use rooms. The latter are paneled with one by four inch 
tongue and groove V-joint vertical grain Western red cedar 
—the same wood that is used for the exterior siding. 

The woodwork for the CABINETS and walls around the 
kitchen consists of Douglas fir plywood trimmed with ver- 
tical grain fir stripping. The surface has been bleached and 
is finished with clear varnish. 

The HEATING SYSTEM of this house consists of radiant panels 
in ceilings throughout the upper floor and in the foundation 
slab. Hot water is circulated through V2 inch copper water 
tube embedded in the concrete floors and % inch tube in 
the plaster ceilings. This warms the panels, which in turn 
radiate their heat directly to objects and people in the 
rooms. Revere Copper Water Tube is used because of its 
long life, freedom from rust, its light weight and easy work- 
ability, assuring long, worry-free service. The water is 
heated by an oil-fired furnace. 

ALL FLASHING, around windows, above doors and wherever 
water would seep into the house, is of copper— specifically, 
the Revere Home Flashing System. (See page 10.) 

The ROOF is made of four plies of asphalt felt and mopped 
asphalt, topped with gravel. To prevent the gravel from 
washing off the roof— and to prevent moisture from get- 
ting inside of it— a gravel stop of sheet copper is used 
around the eaves. This strip is carried up under the roofing 
and firmly embedded in the asphalt. The roof drainage 
system— gutters and leaders— are also of copper for main- 
tenance-free service. 

All PLUMBING lines are of Revere Copper Water Tube. In- 
cluded are hot and cold water lines as well as the smaller 
waste pipe. Hot water is heated by the boiler of the heating 
system and is stored in a Seidelhuber rust-proof tank that 
has a capacity of 52 gallons and is guaranteed for 20 years. 
The tank, of welded construction, is made of Revere Her- 
culoy (a copper-silicon alloy with the corrosion-resistance 
of copper and the strength of steel). Such a system gives 
maximum protection against clogged and leaking pipes. 
Copper water tube provides an unfailing supply of clean, 
clear water. It is economical to install because it is easily 
handled and comes in long lengths that make fewer joints 
necessary. Either soldered or compression fittings may be 
used, which eliminates threading operations. 

Aluminum alloy WINDOWS are used throughout and the door 
to the terrace is also of aluminum. These windows are cus- 
tom-made from Revere aluminum extruded shapes. They 
are handsome, rust-proof, light and maintenance-free. 

Some other quality materials and methods used are: 

Drain tile around exterior founda- 
tion of the house. 

Exterior walls below grade damp- 

All brickwork of best grade Roman 
Brick. Fire-brick for the fireplace 
and hearth. 

#1 common Douglas fir roof and 
floor joists. 

Diagonal roof, floor and wall sheath- 

Four inches of Rock Wool insulation 
throughout ceilings and under 
bedroom floors. 

Transite sliding doors between kitch- 
en and dining room cabinets. 

Formica top on eating bar. 

All interior doors of flush slab con- 

Side guides on all drawers in cab- 

Steel troweled or sand finish plas- 
ter walls and ceilings throughout. 

Wall size plate glass mirror in bath- 

Plate glass in living room windows. 

Linoleum throughout kitchen: floors, 
counter tops and splash backs. 

Koroseal bathroom floor and base. 

Alumilite finish on all aluminum. 

All operating sash equipped with 
aluminum screens and under- 
screen operating hardware. 

Three coats of paint throughout, two 
coats of varnish on all woodwork. 

Chrome on solid brass bath acces- 

Enameled cast-iron laundry trays. 

Moen valve, pressure and tempera- 
ture control on shower. 

Square D low-voltage remote con- 
trol wiring system throughout. 

American Radiator boiler. 

Outside thermostat on radiant heat 

All hardware Schlage solid brass. 

Living room, dining room, kitchen 
lighting by recessed reflectors. 

Hardwood floors throughout. 

Plumbing connections for Bendix 
Home Laundry. 


COPPER FLASHING— By sealing the vital joints of your roof and walls, 
it keeps out the water seepage that rots beams and ruins interior 
walls and ceilings. 


This is a specially tempered pure sheet copper 
engineered for the needs of moderate-priced homes. 
Installed in accordance with techniques especially 
worked out for the Revere Home Flashing System, 
it brings, for the first time, the matchless advantages 
of copper protection within the reach of millions of 
home owners. It costs but a little extra to install 
Revere Home Flashing— and it saves so much on 
maintenance and repair. 

This ceiling installation of radiant panel heating 
makes efficient use of Revere Copper Tube. 

GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS -Prevent rain water from streaking the 
walls, seeping through brickwork, framing and masonry— ruining 
flower beds and finding its way into your cellar. While other 
metals rust and must be replaced, a roof drainage system of 
Revere Sheet Copper will last as long as the building. And it's 
cheaper in the long run — because it requires no maintenance. 
First cost is last cost ! 

COPPER PIPING -Because it cannot rust, Copper Water Tube or Red 
Brass Pipe will give years of trouble-free service. Your water will 
be sparkling clear, and the flow will not diminish through the 

COPPER HOT WATER TANKS- Rusty hot water is the housewife's despair. 
The way to prevent it is to install a hot water storage tank or 


heater made of Revere Copper or Revere Herculoy (a silicon- 
copper alloy with the strength of steel). In that way you can be 
sure of clear hot water at all times. And replacement costs can- 
not hang over your head. 

COPPER HEATING LINES -The advantages of Copper Water Tube for 
water supply piping apply with equal force to heating installa- 
tions. Because Copper Water Tube never rusts, its carrying capac- 
ity remains the same indefinitely. And that results in a definite 
saving because you do not need to use oversize pipe or dirt pock- 
ets. Pipe coverings can also be lighter because copper piping is 
smaller in diameter and does not radiate as much heat as iron or 
steel pipe. Installation cost is kept low because copper water tube 
is easily bent and because joints are made with economical solder- 
type or compression fittings. 

Here are just a few of the other places in which the special quali- 
ties of copper and its alloys can serve you well: rustproof bronze 
windows; small but efficient copper radiators or convectors and 
radiant panel heating installations; bronze or copper window 
screening; copper or bronze weather-strip; permanent, handsome 
hardware; lighting fixtures; plumbing fixtures; and in many deco- 
rative ways -such as hammered copper hoods for fireplaces and 
built-in window boxes. 

In addition, Revere produces aluminum thresholds, architectural 
moldings and shapes for window frames and screens. 
The use of Revere building products of copper, brass, bronze or 
aluminum makes a house a healthy house. Their use is truly a sign 
of quality construction. 

For further information about Revere building products, write 
Revere Copper and Brass Incorporated, 230 Park Ave., New 
York 17, N. Y. 



This is the SEVENTH house to be built under the 
auspices of the Revere Quality House Institute, as 
a further step to determine how much real quality 
and happy living can be built into a small home 
designed to sell at a moderate price. As many houses 
are being built— and the work of the Institute widely 
publicized— the result will be the creation of tested 
standards of value for houses. With these standards 
to guide you, you will be better able to judge the 
value of the house you buy. This house was de- 
signed to sell for about $21,000, including land. It 
represents unusually high quality— in both the mate- 
rials and construction methods used. Mass pro- 
duced, and omitting some of its luxury features, it 
could be built to quality standards and sold for con- 
siderably less. 

The Institute — a non-profit organization under 
the independent direction of a leading American 
architect— is sponsored by Revere Copper and Brass 
Incorporated and "The Architectural Forum", a fore- 

Under the terms of its agreement with the Insti- 
tute, Revere exercises absolutely no control over 
the materials used by the participating architects 
and builders. But Revere knows that good houses 
must contain considerable copper and brass, that 
these materials must become part of any complete 
set of standards that are created. As a manufac- 
turer of copper, brass and bronze, Revere is assured 
that it will benefit— as will the public— through im- 
proved standards of quality in building. You will 
find more details about Revere building products 
and about the way they can improve the house you 
live in, on pages 10 and 11 of this booklet. 

Prospective home owners can purchase complete 
working drawings and specifications of any Institute 
house for $100. From these, your own builder can 
construct the house. For further information about 
these plans, about the work of the Institute, about 
its houses or the part its sponsors play, please 
write to: 


most publication in the field of contemporary housing. 

John Hancock Callender, Architect 

Technical Director 

Revere Quality House Institute • 280 Madison Avenue, New York 16, N. Y.